There are more than 10,000 castles in Spain and Castalla castle is definitely up there with the superior ones. Built in the 13th century and reformed with great care more recently it stands out like a beacon over the town and if you live there, then as soon as you see the castle you know you are home.
Castalla is nestled in a valley surrounded by extraordinarily stunning mountain ranges, it has a population of just over 10,000 and an International community of around 5% so it remains very Spanish but, in the many bars and restaurants, especially on market day you are bound to hear a familiar language.
It´s hard to imagine a better location as Castalla is a mere 30 minutes drive to Alicante Airport and the same to the beaches and the beautiful city of Alicante. Economically wonderful as the drive to Alicante is practically all downhill and you can stick the car in neutral for at least 20 minutes!! Ok, I´m not advising you do that as it´s probably against the law but you know what I mean.
Outside of the town are the signs of how the economy has transformed in the last few years as there is now work for everyone. This makes Castalla and its near neighbour Sax, very low crime areas and very safe.
Lots of visitors and people who visit Castalla take great delight in tasting a good Gaspacho, the typical dish that has made the capital of La Foia famous in the whole region of Alicante. This is not to be confused with the Andalusian cold soup.
Various local bars and restaurants specialize in this delicious dish made of a flat bread cooked without yeast crumbled in small pieces, copious quantities of meat, mushrooms, snails as well as lightly fried tomato and onion. And also "pebrella" derived from the thyme family, an aromatic herb that gives Gaspatxos its characteristic taste.
Not to be forgotten are the excellent homemade sausages and meats, as the wide range of typical ’tapas’: meat, fish and vegetable snacks available in any bar or restaurant.
A traditional ice-cream industry is vibrant in Castalla and many homemade ice-creams can be sampled. Made with the same recipe over the years, mantecao is one of the most popular flavours.
Castalla produces excellent olive oil and delicious wine sold under the trademark "Castillo de Castalla". Both can be purchased in the local agricultural Cooperative.